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The Internet: To Use or Not to Use?

When I started homeschooling I decided that we wouldn’t use the internet much at all. I pictured us all immersed in good printed books and curriculum at all times but the truth is there is so much great information and help for homeschooling on the internet that we use it every day. I would love to hear about what you do and what your favorite programs are.

Here are a few things that I’ve found useful:

Math and Reading:

Smart Tutor

It’s very affordable and each of my kids have their own log in that makes it possible for them to do math and reading on their level. It starts out asking questions and depending on what they already know it sets a level for them and gets progressively harder. It’s not the only thing we use for math or reading but it’s helpful when I’m helping one child with one thing and another needs attention. That may sound bad to some of you but it’s entertaining and challenging so I don’t feel like they’re wasting their time.

Times tables:

Math is Fun

I love this site! It’s fun and FREE. Yep, we all love free! 🙂 So, my daughter wants to learn her multiplication tables but she doesn’t want to sit down with a sheet to memorize them. Now, I’ve heard of a lot of great way to teach multiplication but nothing was really working for her until this. It’s fairly simple, it times her for 5 min. on a variety of multiplication problems.  At the end of the timer it tells her how many she did and how many of them were correct.  She’s having fun watching her score go up every time and it’s really helping her get them down.

Internet Safely: Safe Eyes

I was really worried about internet safety given that there is so much junk out there to be had on the internet. I want my kids to be computer savoy but I absolutely don’t want them running into vulgar or inappropriate content. I also want to keep them safe from and crazies out there using the internet.

This program is AWESOME! It filters just about whatever you want filtered. It’s simple to use and you can put it on 3 computers at home. It has a checklist of anything I could think of to filter. It also has spots for a number of profiles so different users can have different filters. Another feature I love is “time blocking”. You can get in and check times of day where the kids can’t get to anything on the internet between certain times. We set ours to between 8am and 8 pm. I really don’t think my kids are going to be sneaking onto the computer or anything, (my oldest is only 11) but I love it anyway.

It also has a place where you can put in approved sites. So, I’m considering just figuring out which sites they and I love/use most, adding them to the list and using that.

I just want to know that when my kids are on the internet, they are safe and getting all of the good that it has to offer.

Again, let us know what you use and what works for you. It’s so much fun to get great ideas from other moms!